Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ana al-Haqq | Mansur al-Hallaj and quicksand of Unicity

"If you do not recognize God,
at least recognise His sign;
I am the creative truth -
Ana al-Haqq,
because through the Truth,
I am eternal Truth."

"Divine Love is that you remain standing in front of your Beloved: When you are deprived of all your attributes, then His attributes become your attributes, your qualities."

- Mansur al-Hallaj, may God be pleased with him

'Ana al Haqq' meaning 'I am the Truth' was the famous (and controversial) pronunciation of the intoxicated sufi mystic Mansur al-Hallaj (858 - March 26, 922) for which the literalist orthodox establishment condemned him of blasphemy since 'Haqq' or Absolute Truth is a Holy Attribute of the Divine (one of the 99 Sacred and Revealed Name in Islamic Wisdom Tradition). The proclamation of 'Ana al Haqq' was controversially interpreted as his self-proclaim of divinity, and consequently he was executed for heresy charge at the hands of the Abbasid rulers.

This charge was controversial because the proclamation in ecstasy of a mystic in his or her ecstatic state (haal) is not legitimate to be used against, thus some scholars believe that he was charged more because of political reason than theological point (similar to the false charge of blasphemy against Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, which was more of a political move than anything, to protect from the naked challenges that Christ was posing to the then corrupt Jewish orthodox establishment).

Interestingly enough archetypal master of the sufi mystics to whom goes back all sufi lineage, Prophet Muhammad, may God's peace and blessings be upon him is recorded to have said the following: "He who has seen me has seen the Truth (al-Haqq)."

This statement is recorded in the authority of Abu Sa'id al-Khudri and found in sound hadith collection of Bukhari and Muslim. Although there is a qualitative difference between the saying of Mansur al-Hallaj and Prophet Muhammad, yet they seemingly point to the same reality and amidst all of it reside a divine paradox.

The Divine paradox continues and intensifies if we look at the Quranic affirmation that everything that is created, is created with Truth (al-Haqq).

Khalaqa alssamawati waal-arda bi al-Haqqi ..

He created heaven and earthly manifestation with the truth (al-Haqq). - The Quran, 16:3

At the same time in the same place of the Quranic chapter 'An-Nahl', above and below it is warned against the quicksand of unicity. The very verse (16:3) goes on to say, taAAala AAamma yushrikoona, meaning: Highly exalted be the Divine above what they associate. Thus the Highest Divine Essence is beyond comparison and any association with It in any form or shape is falsehood, intense veil of Supreme Divine Reality.

The next verse thus points to that quicksand by reminding the created nature of human being, in a sense to remind that man is man, God is God; creation is always creation, Creator always remains in the exalted status of Creator.

God has created man from a drop of fluid; and behold this same becomes an open disputer! - The Quran 16:04

Despite Mansur al-Hallaj's ecstatic proclamation, he sums up his sincerity to Divine Oneness in the following writing: "Allah, Most High, is the very One Who Himself affirms His Unity by the tongue of whomsoever of His creatures He wishes. If He affirms His Unity in my tongue it is He Who does so, and it is His Affair. Otherwise, my brother, I myself have nothing to do with affirming Allah's Unity."

"O God! Strike through me at the false
in all of its manifestations in all places and locations,
that I might refute by the Truth in the Presence of the Most True.

Plunge me into the Seas of Oneness
containing all thing complex and simple.

Remove me from the quicksand of Unicity
to the Undelimited Space of Oneness,
that is far removed from any releasing and binding;
and drown me in the Source of the Sea of Singularity of Witness,
until I do not see and I do not hear and I do not suffer and I do not feel except by it, descending and ascending,
as it is without ceasing to exist."

- from the prayer of Ibn Mashish, the Qutb of his time, may God sanctify his Sirr.

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